Story courtesy of the Ohio Sports Information Department
MADISON, Wis. - Junior Juli Accurso made history Friday afternoon as she became the first Ohio University women's cross country runner to win an NCAA Regional event as she finished the 2012 Great Lakes Regional in a school record time of 20:07.
"She put herself in a great position early on in the race," said head coach Clay Calkins. "With three kilometers to go she was in contention for one of the top three spots then with two kilometers to go she just finished strong and really put herself out there to win."
Accurso, who two weeks earlier, captured the 2012 Mid-American Conference individual crown has finished in the top three on five separate occasions this season. Her winning performance marks the second straight season in which has qualified for the NCAA Championship. Accurso also becomes just the second runner in MAC history to win an individual title at a Regional.
"It still really hasn't hit home just yet," Accurso said. "I'm honored to have won today and it is just such a great feeling to come across the finish line first and represent Ohio University. I'm just so thankful support in the Athens."
"Winning a race such as this is a hard thing to do," Calkins said. "We're very proud of her and we see nothing but success for her in the future. She is a very hard working athlete and a great team leader."
As a team, Ohio finished the afternoon with 373 points to finish 12th overall out of 32 teams that competed in the event.
Sophomore Morgan Reichert was the next Ohio finisher as she took 87th, finishing in a time of 22:04. Junior Morgan Meade came in next as she placed 88th, clocking a time of 22:05. Freshman Kayla Scott and junior Melissa Thompson rounded out the top five as they placed 96th and 101st, respectively. Accurso will represent Ohio University on Nov. 17 for the 2012 NCAA National Meet in Louisville, Ky.
"I'm really excited to go to Nationals and see what I can do," Accurso said.